Diptyque + Olympia Le-Tan Rosaviola ~ fragrance review

Diptyque + Olympia Le-Tan Rosaviola solid perfume with box

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, Diptyque has introduced a limited edition capsule collection: Rosaviola, a scent packaged in collaboration with designer Olympia Le-Tan. I’m not specially a fan of Le-Tan, whom The New York Times has praised for her “glamorous geek aesthetic” and her clutch purses that reinterpret classic book covers in fabric and embroidery — a “nod to a bygone era when people carried actual books,” the Times tells us.1 I still carry real books, rather than a $2000 clutch, but I’m not one of the well-connected Le-Tan’s celebrity clients and never will be. What I am, however, is someone who can not resist a violet-rose perfume, so here we are.

Rosaviola is composed of notes of violet, violet leaf, raspberry, iris and leather; it’s meant to evoke the scent of a woman’s handbag and the cosmetics tucked inside…

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Clean Reserve Blonde Rose & Sueded Oud ~ fragrance reviews

Clean Reserve Blonde Rose & Sueded Oud

One of my fragrance-loving friends recently opined in a private e-mail that 2015 “was a banner year for perfume B.S.” I’m inclined to agree. So many instantly forgettable scents tarted up with fancy packaging and purple prose. So many new collections offering so many new scents at once that I couldn’t keep them straight in my head. So many cynical flankers and cheap re-workings of classics.

And what can we say about brands that sabotage their own well-tuned images in order to bring in more customers? Clean was founded in 2003 and established its name quickly and securely with non-perfume perfumes like Simply Soap, Fresh Laundry and Rain. Now it’s offering us the Reserve collection, a range of fragrances specifically not designed to smell “out-of-the-shower” fresh. Why? “Each Clean Reserve fragrance was created to be dynamic and evoke, not memories of the past, but possibilities and experiences yet to be discovered.” Oh, okay then. And this helpful hint: they are “ideal for layering and blending.” (So we can buy more than one!)

The Clean Reserve line has taken up residence in Sephora near other layer-able collections from Philosophy, Commodity and Fred Segal…

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Valentino Donna ~ perfume review

Àstrid Bergès-Frisbey for Valentino Donna

If you adored Lancôme La Vie Est Belle1 or any of its various spawn (Giorgio Armani Sì, Nina Ricci L’Extase, Salvatore Ferragamo Emozione et. al.) and you were hoping for more candied iris powder, do try Valentino’s new-ish Donna, which I’d call the latest in the series except that I’m so far behind that Donna has been out for months and there are probably umpteen new fragrances in the same vein that I haven’t even smelled yet. Ah well.

Donna is the feminine counterpart to last year’s Valentino Uomo, and it maintains that scent’s emphasis on sugar, or to put it as Kevin did in his review, loads of sugar, at least in the opening…

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Enfleurage Sanctuary, Roses & Amber ~ fragrance reviews

Enfleurage house blends

Was it really six years ago that I wrote a shopping report about Enfleurage, New York’s most specialized purveyor of natural aromatics? Yes, apparently. The boutique has since moved to a new address (237 West 13 Street, in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood) but its staggering selection of essential oils and natural incenses remains unchanged. I still sniff individual oils during each of my visits, but I’m also very fond of Enfleurage’s “house blends.” They’re available as concentrated oils and as “roll-ons to go,” diluted in a base of organic jojoba oil for ready-to-wear use.

My favorite house blend is Sanctuary, a blend of ylang ylang, chamomile, patchouli, clary sage and black pepper…

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